Interesting new morphs are what has increased the popularity of ball pythons as pets. One of these morphs, discovered over two decades ago, was the Enchi. But despite being so ‘old,’ they’re still incredibly popular.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about Enchi ball pythons. That includes their genetics and their characteristics, information on how to breed them, and different designer versions.
- 1 What is an Enchi Ball Python?
- 2 Enchi Ball Python Genetics
- 3 Enchi Ball Python Characteristics
- 4 Best Enchi Ball Python Morphs
What is an Enchi Ball Python?
Enchi ball pythons were first ‘discovered’ in 1998. They come from a place in Ghana called Enchi, hence the name, and why the name is capitalized. The first Enchis were shipped to the U.S. by Lars Brandell at this time, and were first bred in 2002.
Back before people knew much about ball pythons, they were called Enchi pastels. That’s because people thought they were a line of pastels, due to their slight pastel look. They also have a reduced pattern.
As breeders became more knowledgeable and professional, they realized that Enchis are their own morph. They’ve been a popular ball python morph ever since. They can be found in almost every online ball python shop, as well as some pet stores. They aren’t as common as spiders, though.
Enchi Ball Python Genetics
Enchis are one of the ball python morphs found in the wild, albeit rarely. They, therefore, rank among a select group that includes morphs like albinos.
This differentiates them from what are known as ‘designer morphs.’ Designer morphs are created by breeders breeding two morphs together. So, for example, an Enchi albino ball python is a designer morph.
Different ball python genes work differently. According to Molecular Cell Biology, they can be known as recessive, co-dominant, or dominant. These are different ways that they can be passed down to offspring.
A recessive gene is a gene that can be masked by a dominant gene. That means if an animal has two genes for eye color, but one is recessive and one is dominant, then the dominant one will ‘win.’ It will be the dominant one that is ‘expressed,’ i.e., shown. Albinism is an example of a recessive gene.
To pass on a recessive gene, an animal has to get it from both parents. But to pass on a dominant gene, the offspring needs to receive it from one parent.
The Enchi gene is a codominant gene. A codominant gene doesn’t work like either a recessive or dominant gene. It’s equally strong as other genes. If a snake has a codominant gene with another gene, both will be expressed.
This makes them perfect for creating designer morphs with.
Enchi Ball Python Characteristics
In terms of size and body shape, Enchi ball pythons are the same as regular ball pythons. The only significant difference is their color. In everything else, they’re the same, including:
- How quickly they grow. Ball pythons reach full size in around three years, especially with consistent feeding.
- How old they get. All ball pythons live between 20 and 30 years on average.
- How they behave, and how easy they are to handle. All captive bred ball pythons have an excellent temperament.
So if you’re interested in raising or breeding them, check out our breeding guide for more info.
Size and Weight
In almost every snake species, the male and the female reach different lengths. Male Enchis will reach four to five feet in length, while females will reach five to six feet.
Females will also be heavier than males. They will average between 1400g and 1900g. Males will only reach between 1300g and 1700g. Both in terms of weight and size, this is precisely the same as regular ball pythons.
It’s worth remembering that these are just averages. Your snake might not fit within these ranges. If that’s the case, it isn’t necessarily a sign of poor health. You should assess your snake’s health by checking whether they’re overweight or underweight for their length.
To find out how, take a look at our guide on how to tell if your snake is overweight.
It’s their color that sets Enchi ball pythons apart. They are known for their deep orange shades. When combined with their dark pattern, they look almost like tigers. The deeper their colors, the better an example a specimen is considered to be.
They have a darker color up top which fades into a lighter one lower down. The dark color up top is a reasonably uniform orange. Around halfway down their sides, their scales become yellow. This gives a mottled appearance.
Enchis are well known for their blushing. In ball pythons, blushing is where the center of their dark pattern fades into a different color. In terms of Enchis, their black pattern blushes into a red-orange, darker than the orange of their back.
Blushing is a hallmark of a good Enchi specimen. They also display blushing on their head. The top of their head is black, like their dark pattern. It blushes into the same red-orange color.
They may also have a small amount of white that looks like a border on their dark pattern, especially on their bottom half towards their underside. Their underside will be even lighter still. Like other ball pythons, their pattern fades to white on their belly.
An Enchi’s pattern isn’t noticeably much different, unless you’re familiar with them. They still have banding and thick stripes of dark pattern, like regular ball pythons. But these bands of dark pattern will be slightly reduced, i.e., thinner than usual.
These stripes aren’t uniform, like those of a zebra. They’re blotchy, sitting along the back in small pools, almost. The stripes run down their sides, from their back to their undersides. These stripes look like the ‘pool’ on their back is dripping down their side.
The stripes running down their side have a white outline. This is usually just one scale. It looks as if somebody drew around their pattern with a white pen. The overall effect of their pattern is like camouflage, although their colors don’t make them hard to spot.
Their pattern runs from their head to the end of their tail. At their tail, it thins out and becomes a number of stripes heading towards the tip.
Enchis can be bred with other morphs to pass their pattern on, but in different colors. Their pattern isn’t dramatically different, but breeders will do so nonetheless.
Best Enchi Ball Python Morphs
Like all morphs that have been around a while, Enchis have been bred with other morphs. There are dozens of morphs that have Enchi genetics combined with the genes of other morphs.
These are called designer morphs. Designer morphs can be expensive, because they are being newly ‘discovered’ all the time. However, others have been around a long time.
|Super Enchi:||A colorful version of a regular Enchi. Has an even more diminished pattern.|
|Tangerine Enchi:||A uniform orange or deep yellow color with a thin, dark pattern like tiger stripes.|
|Banana Enchi:||Bright yellow-orange with a pink pattern instead of a dark pattern.|
|Albino Enchi:||Similar to banana because its dark pattern is light. Even lighter pink-peach pattern than the banana.|
|Clown Enchi:||The same color as a regular Enchi, but with a stripe along its back. None along its sides.|
|Pastel Enchi:||A variable morph that can have a cleaner, more uniform color/pattern. Pastel can bring out their yellow, too.|
|Mojave Enchi:||Like regular Enchis, but with the distinctive Mojave pattern. This pattern has flames with lots of blush coming up their sides.|
|Disco Enchi||The same color as a regular Enchi, but with a thicker, darker pattern.|
|Champagne Enchi:||Dull, faded brown snake. The same pattern as a regular Enchi.|
|Lesser Enchi:||Similar to regular Enchis, but with brighter color and even more blushing.|
A ball python morph described as a ‘super’ version is one that has two versions of the same gene. As explained above, the Enchi gene is a codominant gene. A super Enchi has two versions of the same gene. Both are expressed at the same time.
This has an interesting effect. It makes their color stand out a little more. More noticeably, it makes their pattern reduce even further.
It also has a knock-on effect when you’re breeding. If you breed two super Enchis together, there’s no chance of a ‘normal’ offspring. That’s because both parents have two sets of Enchi genes each. There are no normal appearance genes in a super Enchi.
Tangerine Enchis have a more uniform orange/deep-yellow color. Their pattern is also thinner, more like tiger stripes. Because their pattern is thinner, there’s less blushing, but they’re still a beautiful morph.
You get these snakes from breeding a tangerine with an Enchi. They aren’t common, so you might have to shop around to find one.
Banana Enchis are wonderful snakes. Their yellow/orange color is very bright. But more impressive is their dark pattern. Rather than being entirely black with orange-red blushing, their dark pattern becomes pink with an even lighter pink blush.
The blush is well defined. Rather than blending into the pattern around it, the blush stands out. In some cases, it doesn’t blend at all, but appears as a solid dot or pool of color.
The same applies to their head. Rather than being black with red blush, it’s a blend of light and dark pink. This mix of color is striking, but isn’t to everybody’s taste. Whatever you think of them, they stand out.
Read our guide on the genetics of banana ball pythons.
Albino Enchis are Enchis crossed with albinos. They are a bright yellow color. But unlike other Enchis, their dark pattern is light. Rather than being dark brown, they’re a peachy pink color.
They don’t have much noticeable blushing. But if you do look closely, some of their pattern does have a slight yellow blush. Their dark pattern also has a slight outline, which is a dark pink color. Like all albinos, they have red or pink eyes.
Clown Enchis have the same color scheme as other Enchis. Their primary color is a dull yellow bordering on orange. They have a dark brown pattern with lots of blushing.
However, the big difference is in their pattern. Clowns have a pattern that runs along their back rather than down their sides. It’s like a long, wavy and connected stripe down their back.
Clowns are particularly beautiful because this pattern brings out the best of their blushing. The blush is unmistakable and appears almost all of the way down their back. That’s because the line of their dark pattern is quite thick.
This morph is variable. Good examples of these snakes have an exceptionally clean pattern. The pastel gene can clean up the pattern on their sides to make it clearer (although not always). It gets rid of individual darker scales so that they look more uniform.
It can also get rid of their two-tone pattern along their side, where it starts orange at the top, and turns yellow at the bottom. Instead, these snakes can have just one light color on their back.
At the same time, its color can change a little. They range from a matt yellow to a deep orange, like other Enchis. If you shop around, you’ll be able to find one you like.
Here’s some info on the most popular pastel ball python morphs.
Mojaves are easy to recognize because of their distinctive pattern. They can have a line, or an incomplete line of dots, running along their back. These are complemented by ‘flames’ on their sides. These are sections of pattern running up the side, but not forming complete stripes.
They also have a darker overall color, with lots of dark, accentuated chocolate color. The Mojave Enchi takes that pattern and gives it Enchi colors. These snakes are yellow and deep orange. But like the Mojave, they have flames of color running up their sides.
These are especially noticeable because of the Enchi’s blushing. These pools of dark pattern have extensive blushing, of their base color. In the most beautiful specimens, this blush is a deep orange.
The disco ball python looks the same as a fire. The only difference is that when homozygous, they don’t produce black eyed leucistic offspring. Instead, the homozygous offspring is more like a ‘super fire,’ if that existed.
When combined with Enchi, they produce an Enchi with a thick black pattern. They also have a little less blushing, although much is still present.
Champagne Enchis are yellow with lots of brown pattern. Their pattern is dull and faded in comparison to other Enchis. But this is beautiful in its own way.
They have a larger and thicker dark pattern than regular Enchis. However, its pattern isn’t dark like a regular Enchi. It’s faded like it’s been washed out. Overall, they are roughly 50/50 between darker and lighter pattern.
The Enchi lesser was first bred in 2009 by Matt Lerer. The lesser base is codominant, just like Enchis are. They’re variable in that they can appear either high yellow with light tan markings, or have lots of blush, like Enchis and Mojaves.
When combined with an Enchi, the lesser adds color and intensifies blushing. The best examples of lesser Enchis have bright yellow with a dark pattern that’s more blush than black.
But other specimens are faded out like Mojaves are. Even their dark coloration is faded, too. These snakes are highly variable, so make an interesting morph to try and breed. You don’t know what you’re going to get.
You can also get Enchi spiders, Enchi pinstripes, Enchi fireballs, and more. Their mutation doesn’t cause any neurological or inbreeding issues, so they’ve been widely crossed.
If you’re interested in starting your own breeding program, Enchi ball pythons are perfect.